The Marsh Kings Daughter by Karen Dionne Little Brown June 29th 2017
Its always interesting to read a book tipped to be a stand out thriller of the year, with tons of hype. Will it live up to the glowing reviews and your own personal expectations? was certainly hoping so when I received a proof copy of The Marsh King’s Daughter.
Meet Helena, a busy mum to two daughters, Iris and Mari, and wife to supportive, loyal husband Stephen.
Helena makes her own jams and jellies, using ingredients from the woods and the marshlands around her, selling to local retail outlets.Helena can also hunt and survive in the environment around her, taught by her father as she was growing up. But her the father/daughter relationship is far from ordinary, in fact it is unique, her upbringing a closely guarded secret until a news article on the radio changes everything.
Helena’s father has escaped from the local maximum security prison and her secret is well and truly in the open. Born to a mother who was kidnapped and held against her will for 15 years, Helena has tried to put the past behind her, but now the past is about to bite back.
Helena must find her father before he finds her family.
The ensuing story will draw you in to a cat and mouse chase as each hunt the other, testing their survival skills and wit against on another. There can only be one winner….who will it be?
The Marsh King’s Daughter will hook and draw you in from the very first page. As Helena races to deal with the present so she must come to terms with the past, giving us glimpses into her marsh land life. You will question why she loved and adored a father who could be so cruel and controlling, punishing both her and her mother if something didn’t please him and why they stayed so long.
Dionne skillfully reveals the intense relationship between father and daughter, the close bond they form as he teaches her to hunt and the indifference through lack of knowledge and understanding she feels towards her mother.
I particularly liked the way the narrative portrayed the psychology of the captive, Helena’s mother, and the demons that drove the Marsh King to do as he did, without overpowering the reader or distracting from the story.
The same can be said for the hunting and survival parts of the story that are well researched and very real.
As the story unfolded the tension and the drama slowly increased, in fact it is double the tension and drama! Not only do we have to read about Helena’s past captivity and slow awakening to the evil wrongdoings of her father but we also have to deal with the present day as their cat and mouse game deepens in intensity.
Its a hold onto your seats moment as you frantically turn the last few pages to discover the fate of the characters and I was not disappointed.
Dionne has written a truly wonderful psychological thriller with a difference, one that would make an excellent movie.
It is a novel that I would definitely be packing on my holidays this year.
Thank you to Little Brown for the proof copy to read and review.
About the author.
Karen Dionne was born in 1953, in Akron, Ohio. Also known as K.L Dionne, her 2014 novel The Killing, Uncommon Denominator was nominated for the International Association of Media Tie-In-Writer Scribe Award
Karen is the co-founder of the online writers community Backspace and organises Salt Clay writers retreat held every other year in the Bahamas.